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cinnamon roll from scratch

Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls are the absolute best! Scratch made ooey gooey brioche dough wrapped in a cinnamon filling and topped with cream cheese icing. YUM.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 479kcal


For the brioche dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk warm (about 110 degrees F)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 ounce active dry yeast one packet
  • 3 large eggs slightly beaten
  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour (additional flour might be needed, see instructions)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • vegetable oil spray

For the pan (optional)

  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar

For the filling:

  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, very soft

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


To make the brioche dough:

  • Heat milk in small pot over low heat until it reaches about 105-110 degrees F. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar and sprinkle yeast on top. In about 5 minutes or so, your yeast should start to look slightly foamy. If there's no reaction at all, your yeast might be bad.
  • Mix the eggs into the milk mixture.
  • Add flour and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment on and the mixer running on medium low speed, slowly add the milk/egg mixture until everything is combined. With the mixer still running, add butter one tablespoon at a time until fully mixed. Scrape bowl to ensure everything is well incorporated. Remove paddle and attach dough hook. Use dough hook to knead the dough on medium speed for about 5-10 minutes. The dough should start to look very smooth and stretchy. If dough is still wet and not pulling away from the sides of the bowl, continue to add flour (1 tablespoon at a time) until the dough comes together into one smooth and sticky ball.
  • Use vegetable oil spray to coat the bottom of a new bowl. Transfer dough to bowl. Dough should be very sticky, so use a silocon scraper to get it all out of the stand mixer bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

If coating bottom of pan with optional naughty layer:

  • Combine melted butter, heavy cream, and brown sugar in the base and up the sides of an 11x17 baking dish. Set aside. Alternatively, you can use an extra large oven safe skillet like I did to melt the butter over low heat. Then add the heavy cream and sugar, mix, and set aside.

Prepare the filling:

  • While the dough is chilling, mix together the sugars, cinnamon (or my preferred pumpkin pie spice), and salt. Mix in very soft butter. Mixture should look like a thick paste.

Prepare the cream cheese frosting:

  • Also while the dough is chilling, make the frosting. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk or paddle attachment, blend on high speed until fully mixed, light, and fluffy.
  • Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream. Mix on low. Once incorporated, increase the mixing speed and beat to combine until light and fluffy.

To prepare cinnamon rolls:

  • Remove dough from refrigerator. It should have risen while chilling. Spread a thin layer of flour onto a clean working surface. Transfer dough to floured surface, an knead a few times. Use enough flour to prevent dough from sticking.
  • Roll dough into a large rectangle that's about 12 inches by 18 inches and uniform thickness. Dough will be very elastic, so you might have to get creative and use both a rolling pin and your hands to stretch. It will want to pull back, but keep at it.
  • Dump filling mixture on top of dough and use fingers to spread across entire surface.
    cinnamon roll filling
  • Roll the dough into a log. Starting at the long edge, roll all the way to the end and finish with the seal side down. At this point I like to use my hands to shape the log into a more uniform shape (sometimes parts are skinnier than others).
    rolled cinnamon roll dough before slicing
  • To slice the rolls, use a sharp serrated edge knife and cut slices that are about 1-1 1/2 inches thick. The filling will stick to the knife, so before each cut, coat the knife with flour.
  • Place the rolls in your prepared pan with the prettiest swirl of each roll facing up.
    homemade cinnamon rolls before they rise
  • Cover pan with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 45 minutes. If your house is cold, you can preheat your oven to 200 degrees F and as soon as it's warm, turn it off and open the door. Once the inside of the oven feels warmer than your kitchen (but not hot enough to melt the plastic wrap), place the covered rolls in the slightly warmed oven and allow them to rise in there.
    homemade cinnamon rolls after they rise

To bake the cinnamon rolls:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (if you were allowing your rolls to rise in the oven, remove them before preheating the oven). Arrange your oven racks so that they rolls will bake in the middle to lower middle section of the oven. This will ensure they'll get cooked through without getting overly browned on top.
  • Cook in preheated oven until golden brown on top and the dough reaches a temperature of 190 degrees F (this is important because they may look done but could still be doughy in the center). Total cooking time may range from 20-25 minutes or so depending on your oven, but be sure to trust the thermometer over recommended cooking time.
    freshly baked cinnamon rolls
  • Remove cooked rolls from oven and add frosting. Please note that this recipe makes a lot of frosting. My family likes it when I only use about half, but their eyes always light up when I set the extra frosting out in case they want to add a bit more.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!
    homemade cinnamon roll with cream cheese icing


To store leftover rolls, ensure they are fully cooled and store in airtight container. Can be left out at room temperature, but they will last much longer if refrigerated or frozen. To make rolls ahead of time, follow all cooking steps up to the point where you add the rolls to the pan and cover. Instead of allowing to rise, refrigerate overnight. To bake the next day, allow rolls to come to room temperature and then bake and frost, per the directions.


Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 428mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 715IU | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 2.1mg